Sunday, October 15, 2006

Madame Pele's Wrath


At 7:07 AM today, Madame Pele struck our Big Island with magnitude 6.6, centred about 19 km offshore. (For non-islanders, Pele is our resident fire goddess.) There is damage everywhere, but fortunately I have not heard of any deaths. Madame Pele is violent but merciful.

Like Olympus Mons, the Hawaiian Islands sit atop a hot plume rising from a planet's interior. As the Pacific Plate slides over this hotspot, old islands sink into the sea and new ones form. Our Big Island is the youngest, less than 1 million years old. As we have seen, Pele is still creating new land. Volcanic rocks are our favourite fencing materiel.

In about 80 million years the Big Island will return to the sea. To our Southeast, the new island of Loihi is already forming. Currently Loihi's summit is 1000 metres below sea level. The theory of continental drift was first proposed by Alfred Wegener, and they didn't believe him either.

The source of Earth's core heat has been radiating for billions of years. Old theories of radioactive decay simply cannot account for this energy. Nickel-iron meteorites approximate the composition of Earth's core, and they contain no radioactive elements. The source of the heat forming our planet comes not from geology, but from cosmology.

The immense energy forming our islands and continents is caused by a tiny singularity, barely one millimeter in diameter. The planet formed around this tiny object just as a pearl forms around a grain of sand. If not for this object, the planet would not exist at all. My home is a mess, but we owe our Big Island to Madame Pele.

9 Comments:

Blogger Kea said...

I hope everything works out with the cleanup. Our Earthquake god is Ruaumoko, the unborn child of the Earth mother Papatuanuku and the Sky father Ranginui.

12:25 PM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Thanks, things will be messy for a while. The Big Island produces 1/3 of its electricity geothermally. It's neat how earthquakes have a mythic status everywhere in the world.

6:32 PM  
Blogger nige said...

Hi Louise,

Lucky you! I've always wanted to feel the earth move under my feet, but never have :-(

BTW, by coincidence I'm now living at present in Colchester, which is the only place in England where a lethal earthquake has ever occurred.

The Colchester earthquake was 1884, and is estimated to have been 5.2 on the Richter Scale. People died from falling roof tiles and such like.

(Colchester is also where William Gilbert came from, who discovered the earth is a giant magnet.)

Best wishes,
Nigel

11:24 PM  
Blogger mark said...

I trust all will be back to "normal" in the near future.

I'm curious about the theory of the singularity at the earth's core: is this generally accepted?
and its gravity generates the earth's core heat?

3:03 AM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

HI Nigel, Mark. People don't realise that many parts of Earth are susceptible to earthquakes. New York City would be a true disaster.

Since William Gilbert, we have known that Earth acts like a giant magnet. Power source of this "dynamo" was unknown. I have touched volcanoes and meteorites investigating whether a singularity could exist in Earth's core.

This object rotates independently of Earth, causing electric currents that generate a magnetic field. That is why Earth's magnetic pole is independent of the geographic pole.

Like Wegener, I don't expect this to be generally accepted for decades.

6:49 AM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

UPDATE: Electricity is back in most of the Big Island, with no reports of deaths or major injuries.

12:00 PM  
Blogger Kea said...

Some of the best evidence for tectonics came from NZ. In particular the spectacular coincidence in rock samples from distant Otago (south east SI) and Nelson (north west SI).

2:00 PM  
Blogger Rae Ann said...

Sorry to hear that you had a mess, but I'm glad that there weren't any deaths. I recall two small earthquakes here, enough shaking to wake me but not enough to knock things down. I wouldn't want to feel it any stronger. Good luck with the cleanup!

11:09 AM  
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